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View Full Version : Nikon 70-200mm AF-S VR Review




Renderz
Jul 22, 2008, 12:27 PM
Hi guys, I just wanted to let you know I've posted real world review of this lens. I talk about the weight, focusing speed and how in a specific situation I wouldn't use it at all!!!

http://www.terrylee.net/blog/?p=207



taylorwilsdon
Jul 22, 2008, 12:55 PM
Lovely lens. I've got nothing long right now and I'm looking at the 70-200. Its too expensive but I like VR in a long lens and thats my knock against the 80-200.

Its really not much heavier than my 28-70...

LaJaca
Jul 22, 2008, 12:55 PM
sweet, thanks! I hope to purchase this lens soon.

Cheffy Dave
Jul 22, 2008, 01:02 PM
Thanks for the review. My D-40 is on order, will add this lens to the kit lens.
Again, thanks

taylorwilsdon
Jul 22, 2008, 01:08 PM
Thanks for the review. My D-40 is on order, will add this lens to the kit lens.
Again, thanks

Wow, that's a big upgrade from a kit lens on a d40 :)

It seems like you'd have some pretty serious balance problems.

cr2sh
Jul 22, 2008, 10:27 PM
I just bought this lens and a new 50mm f/1.4, I'll be putting both to work at a wedding and reception this weekend.

My next decision is going to really be whether or not to keep the D700 I have on order... or to keep my D200 and pick up another fast lens. The 14-24mm is tempting, but 14 isn't really that wide on a cropped sensor... on the other hand I don't have a midrange zoom and a used 28-70mm is pretty tempting.

taylorwilsdon
Jul 23, 2008, 12:13 AM
I just bought this lens and a new 50mm f/1.4, I'll be putting both to work at a wedding and reception this weekend.

My next decision is going to really be whether or not to keep the D700 I have on order... or to keep my D200 and pick up another fast lens. The 14-24mm is tempting, but 14 isn't really that wide on a cropped sensor... on the other hand I don't have a midrange zoom and a used 28-70mm is pretty tempting.

Buy my 28-70 in a few weeks :)

I'd buy that D700 though. As someone who owned the D200 and upgraded to the D300, there is a huge difference and the D700 would be ever more so, and its so beautifully full frame.

Digital Skunk
Jul 23, 2008, 09:29 AM
The D700 is a notable upgrade, but if you need glass get the glass first. There is NO point in having a full frame body with limited glass selection and no standard zoom.

Also, contrary to popular belief, the D200 --> D300 isn't that big of a jump. When you go D200 --> D700 or D3 it is, and it's only a 4 stop difference in IQ and useable ISO.

After shooting with most of all of the current bodies, and a D200 D2xs combo I have to say that the biggest difference in IQ will come from FX paired with GOOD glass.

I skipped out on the D3 and D300 upgrade to pick up $5000+ worth of glass and gear. Now when I grab the FX body of choice I won't be left wanting for glass, and when the D800 and D4 come I still won't be wanting for glass, and so on.

Glass will always last longer than the body

Renderz
Jul 23, 2008, 11:14 AM
I just bought this lens and a new 50mm f/1.4, I'll be putting both to work at a wedding and reception this weekend.

I have the F1.8 version, it's one of my favourite lenses!

Buy my 28-70 in a few weeks :)

I'd like to read your opinion on that lens.

The D700 is a notable upgrade, but if you need glass get the glass first. There is NO point in having a full frame body with limited glass selection and no standard zoom.

I agree, I'm drooling over the D3 because of it's amazing ISO performance. I can't really shoot above 1600 on my D300, and even that has noticable (but acceptable) noise.

I am a bit concerned about the combined weight of the D3 and the 70-200mm!! That's a arm breaker :D

Clix Pix
Jul 23, 2008, 11:17 AM
I agree with Digital Skunk...... From the time I bought my first digital SLR, the Nikon D70, I developed the strategy of buying the best lenses I could, especially those which would also work on a full-frame body (even though at that point in time Nikon was denying that they'd ever put out a FF DSLR). I upgraded bodies, too, as I went along but still had that elusive FF body in the back of my mind as I chose various lenses for various purposes. When last year the D3 was announced, I was ready....

By the way, the very first lens that I bought along with my D70 and its kit lens was none other than the 70-200mm VR. I've never regretted that purchase and to today that is still one of my very favorite lenses.

amemoryoncelost
Jul 23, 2008, 06:34 PM
This 70-200mm is next on my list. Running a 10.5/2.8 fish and the 50mm/1.8 right now, plus the kit lens and yeah, want to drop the kit lens as soon as I can. So maybe after the 70-200mm, something to fill that kit lens gap...

cr2sh
Jul 23, 2008, 11:06 PM
The 70-200mm cost me more than I ever thought I could pay for a lens... honestly, I went and bought it and shot with it for two days but wouldn't tell anyone what it cost me. I was ashamed that I'd spent so much... but the results were so amazing that I didn't really regret it. It's the first lens I've ever purchased, that when I zoom in on my image to 100% on my camera, I can make out all the details. The results are amazing.. and I never really thought the price would be justified.. but it is. I like the idea of buying a lens and knowing that there isn't something that I wanted more and still longed for.

This is going OT... but I agree completely with the 'buy the best glass you can' idea but it's hard to do on the ultra wide end if I want to future proof my lens for owning an FX sesnor later.

My ultra wide right now is the sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6... a slow, huge lens. A 14-24mm f/2.8 would great upgrade to my sigma, but it's a lens I'm not sure I really want. (A $1500 lens that I can't put a filter on... kinda scary.) On the other hand a lens like the 17-35mm f/2.8 would be a good option for a ultra wide of FX.. but it doesn't help me much I keep my D200. A 17mm isn't wide at all on the cropped sensor.

So my option is to buy DX glass (Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8) at $600 that I'll have to upgrade later or buy the 14-24mm that I'm afraid of. :o

I'm 90% sure I'm going to try to hock the unopened D700 when it arrives and invest in better glass... and thinking it over now, I think it might make the most sense to pick up a 11-16mm tokina (for the time being) and a used 17-35mm nikon. The latter of which will be my UW when I go FX.

Digital Skunk
Jul 23, 2008, 11:25 PM
The Tokina's are wonderful pieces of glass.

The bokeh and build quality on the 16-50 isn't as good as the Nikon's but everything else holds weight. The 12-24 f4 is chosen over the Nikon every time where I work simply because of price. I hear that the 11-16 f2.8 is equal in quality.

There isn't anything wrong with getting DX lenses now and using them on future DX bodies. FX is going to cost you because of the sensor size and the image circle that the glass has to produce, and now that all the camera companies will only be making pro range glass for them.

Shooters are really going to have to decide whether or not FX is right for them since they will have to spend twice as much for their glass. Really ask yourself if those extra 2 stops and speed are worth the price. If not, then the D300 and DX will serve you well until the price of FX comes down.

p.s. don't feel bad about spending the $1700 on the 70-200. There are plenty of people spending far more, and do far less shooting to justify it.

And don't feel bad about not being able to get FX. Personally speaking, the D700 is a bit of a disappointment in some areas. The 95% viewfinder, CF card door, and other areas are making me still want to shoot for the D3 and keep my D2xs instead.

ksz
Jul 23, 2008, 11:38 PM
After reading Andy Westlake's review (http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/nikon_70-200_2p8_vr_n15/), I decided to hold off. The Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 does a great job on DX, but suffers from vignetting and softness on FX. It is also susceptible to flare from nearby light sources. I would love to see an updated 70-200 f/2.8 with nano coating and all the other buzzwords that are being applied to Nikon's newest pro lenses, so long as these (small?) deficiencies are resolved.

Meanwhile, I do plan to get the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8. That's a focal range I use 90% of the time. And if I have to wait another 2 years for an updated 70-200, so be it.

cr2sh
Jul 23, 2008, 11:50 PM
And if I have to wait another 2 years for an updated 70-200, so be it.

That last sentence is the difference between you and me... I wasn't willing to wait. I wanted a lens I could shoot today, I had no good options in my bag in that range and it stopped me from taking photos... I didn't want to miss any more photos of my wife playing softball. To me, a nano-coating and softness in the corners didn't matter as much as the photos I could have taken.

ksz
Jul 23, 2008, 11:58 PM
^^^ Actually, I have the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 HSM that is about 8 years old. For the next 2 years I can certainly live with that lens for the times I need this range. If I were to spend $1700 on a 70-200 f/2.8 lens, it would have to be nearly flawless -- or at least as good as the Canon 70-200 f/2.8L (http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/canon_70-200_2p8_is_usm_c16/)!!

From Andy Westlake's review:
A comparison to Nikon's AF-S VR 70-200mm F2.8G is particularly interesting. The two lenses are near-identical in specification and price, but their characteristics are substantially different. The Nikon lens clearly outperforms the Canon for sharpness on the smaller DX/APS-C format, however this comes at the cost of rather compromised performance on full frame, with significantly higher distortion, vignetting and chromatic aberration, plus extremely soft corners. This leads us to conclude that the two lenses were optimized differently, the Canon for full frame and the Nikon for DX, and illustrates how the different demands of the two formats appear difficult to reconcile in a single lens design.

Rotary8
Jul 24, 2008, 01:22 PM
rumors of a 70-200 VR2 in the works.

cr2sh
Jul 24, 2008, 02:06 PM
^^^ Actually, I have the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 HSM that is about 8 years old.

Certainly that lens is a good alternative.. do they make one with some sort of image stabilization? I ahve to imagine it's similar to the 80-200mm nikon that was replaced by the 70-200mm.

Do you shoot full frame, FX, currently? I'd love to see a side by side of the two lenses.

Before my purchase I spent a lot of time looking at pixelpeeper for examples of the 70-200mm on a D3. I was only really able to find on image, it came from the dpreview article, that showed the vignetting and softness you mentioned. It was a very boring architectural photo with windows alll over... and yes, looking at the photo I could see the problems in the corners. It was not a photo I would take. Meanwhile, the rest of the photos were something I would take.. and in their corners was beautiful bokeh and out of focus background.

ksz
Jul 24, 2008, 03:03 PM
Certainly that lens is a good alternative.. do they make one with some sort of image stabilization?
Sigma is starting to add image stabilization in their FF lenses. The 80-400 f/4.5-5.6 was the first, and now it's available in the 150-500 f/5-6.3 and the 120-400 f/4.5-5.6. Their 70-200 f/2.8 has been revised about 3 times since I purchased mine, but still no stabilization, which is one of several reasons for my desire to replace it with a Nikkor.

Do you shoot full frame, FX, currently? I'd love to see a side by side of the two lenses.
DPreview actually has a review (http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/sigma_70-200_2p8_n15/) of the new Sigma. For Image Quality it rates an 8.0, same as the Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 on FF. I bought the Sigma for use on my Nikon F100, which was retired only 18 months ago after purchasing the D200. The D200 is the first and only dSLR I have purchased and I expect to upgrade to the D700 shortly after Photokina. I want to see what new lenses are introduced so as to spread my budget more prudently.

Photokina comes every 2 years and it's an exciting time to be in the market! Certainly the Sony A900 with a 24 MP FF sensor will be introduced. Wonder how much it will cost...

From the DPreview conclusion:
The Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG Macro HSM II is a prime example of an independent manufacturer producing a design which can challenge the camera companies' own lenses in most aspects of optical and operational performance, but at a much lower price. In almost all regards it performs well in everyday use, delivering good quality images across a broad range of situations. The optics are perfectly competent, if not outstanding; indeed the lens is really very good towards the short end, but weaker at 200mm, where it's slightly soft and suffers from relatively high levels of chromatic aberration. Vignetting is impressively low, even on full frame (presumably a benefit of that broad and stubby barrel design), and geometric distortion reasonably well controlled. So whilst the Sigma's optics may not be technically quite up to the same standard as the competition, users will find few glaring faults in its performance either.

cube
Jul 24, 2008, 03:41 PM
How credible are dpreview's lens reviews when photozone.de warns that the results of their tests are not to be transferred across systems?

ksz
Jul 24, 2008, 11:32 PM
^^^ Not sure what you mean by "transferred across systems", but I'll venture two possibilities:

1. Test of a lens on a Nikon mount should not be compared against a test of the same brand lens on a Canon or other mount.

2. A score given to a Nikon lens should not be compared with a score given to a Canon lens.

Because DPreview's tests are based on objective and standardized measurements, it is fair to directly compare scores between mounts (item 1 above) and between brands (item 2) so long as the camera is not correcting for issues such as vignetting, barrel distortion, and purple fringing. Note that an increasing number of camera bodies do provide such corrections.

cube
Jul 25, 2008, 11:53 AM
By "result transfer" I meant that if a lens is good on a mount, you shouldn't assume that it is also good in a version for another mount.

dpreview is just testing the 3rd party lenses on one system and then making general conclusions.

Westside guy
Jul 25, 2008, 12:12 PM
Of course if you're thinking about going full frame, buying the current 70-200 VR isn't such a great idea. It seems to be pretty well accepted that Nikon needs to redesign it for better full frame coverage.

I realize you can stop it down and get good results; but heck, having to stop it down pretty much negates the reason for spending that much on a lens.

cr2sh
Jul 25, 2008, 06:02 PM
The D3 and D700 have vignette control available, has anyone here used a firmware updated D3 and this lens.. if so, does the vignette control mitigate the problems (at least somewhat)?

rogersmj
Jul 25, 2008, 08:19 PM
I would so, so like to buy this lens...but I just can't justify the price as an amateur hobbyist. I'm thinking about the Sigma equivalent for about half the price...but if I get more serious one day I'd love to get this Nikon version.

Renderz
Jul 27, 2008, 02:46 AM
I would so, so like to buy this lens...but I just can't justify the price as an amateur hobbyist. I'm thinking about the Sigma equivalent for about half the price...but if I get more serious one day I'd love to get this Nikon version.

I can understand where you're coming from. I took the plunge because I felt it was false economy to compromise on the glass.

pinktank
Jul 31, 2008, 04:50 PM
I used it for 2000 shots or so, pretty good lens. Fell with it twice (2 different copies, 2 years apart) both were fine apart form some hairline scratches